Not only is running one of the most efficient ways to increase fitness/lose weight/de-stress, but running recruits most, if not all, muscles in the body, including the heart.
Running is one of the easiest and most natural ways for humans to exercise, requiring minimum equipment whilst providing maximum effect. However, whether you’re running at a competitive/elite level or just running around The Tan when you remember to bring your trainers to work, running as a solo training program has a tendency to create muscular imbalances within the body.
Typically, when we run, we run forwards. This effectively has the body recruiting all the muscles in the front and back of the body (specifically the legs) to propel the body forward. The larger, power producing muscle groups in the legs (quadriceps, hip flexors and tibialis anteriorly as well as glutes, hamstrings and calves posteriorly) all tend to be over recruited to produce the necessary power and speed. When the smaller, stabilising muscles surrounding the joints are untrained, not only do joints become weakened and vulnerable to injury, but a great amount of power is lost in the movement. This is why typical running injuries occur around the joints (ankles, knees, hips, lower back/Sacro-illiac joint).
Pilates works to recruit the small stabilising muscles surrounding the joints and supporting the larger muscle groups. This aids injury prevention, encourages systematic firing of muscles to produce highly efficient power and speed, as well producing a heightened body awareness, the ability to disassociate movements in the body, isolate specific muscles, correct alignment and posture, and connect breath to movement.
Clients who have added 1 – 2 Pilates sessions a week to their current training program have reported an ease and fluidity in their movement and new Personal Bests.